Unusual and unexpected

By 21/05/2020 From Nigel

My mum did not become a Christian until the later stages of her life. To be honest I had stopped praying and stopped speaking to her about Jesus as it only caused an argument. I was living in Sussex and part of Barcombe Baptist church who had just finished an extension to their church building. The official opening was conducted by Martyn Lloyd Jones, where he preached on “what meaneth these stones”. Mum had insisted on being at the opening, which I thought was not a good idea as these things go on for ages and MLJ was likely to preach for his usual hour. Yet God did something unusual and unexpected in my reckoning, MLJ preached and my mum got saved. A few weeks later she was baptised, a few months later she died and went to be with the Lord.

Sometimes God just does things that are unusual and unexpected.

We are in 1 Samuel 30. David is in pursuit of the Amalekites, but which raiding party had invaded his camp at Ziklag? Where are they and who were they? This gives God an opportunity to do something David does not expect, they come across an Egyptian. Now this is unusual and unexpected. It was to David a surprise.

Read 1 Samuel 30:11-15

This is incredible as it unlocks the situation.

It was amazing that David should find this man at all. It was amazing that the Egyptian should have no deep loyalties towards the Amalekites. It was amazing that having been abandoned by his master that he didn’t just run away but looked for a fresh start with a new nation. It was amazing that he had the information that David needed.

This enables David to find the specific Amalekites, defeat them and regain everything that they had taken (vs16-20)

God has always continued to do the unusual and unexpected.

Obsessed with his anti-Christian crusade, Saul never expected Jesus’ appearance to him on the Damascus road. Ananias was surprised by the commission to lay hands on a blind Saul, welcoming him into the community of believers. The radical change in Saul was certainly unexpected by those who had heard of him or had experienced his tirade against Christians. Our God does the unexpected as well as the expected in our lives.

The church was growing although scattered and persecuted, that’s unexpected! It has crossed the barrier that separated Jews from Samaritans, surprising the Jerusalem church.

Now, it crosses a much greater chasm between Jews and Gentiles. God Himself initiates the event as He surprises Peter and Cornelius with visions leading the way to an even bigger surprise, the complete inclusion of Gentile believers into the church by faith alone. As Peter declared to the disbelieving apostles, “Who was I to think that I could stand in Gods way” Acts 11:17.

Previously Jesus had arrived into Jerusalem riding on a donkey. (see Zechariah 9:9) The crowds shout and cheer saying things that are very true about him. He is a King and he is worthy of this praise (see Psalm 118), but he’s about to do something completely unexpected, though he had just told his disciples in Luke 18 that he’s going into Jerusalem specifically to die

The wisdom of God is foolishness to us (1 Corinthians 1:18-31), this should be something that most of us get. But sometimes we have to learn and re-learn this truth: God doesn’t work the way we expect God to work. This season is uncomfortable and different and challenging. People are losing their lives, their jobs, their livelihoods, and their stabilities. But God is in the midst of the unexpected, look for God to put Egyptians in your path.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Mike Cooke says:

    Love the story about Nigel’s mum. I’d like God to do that for my mum (get saved, that is). Tell me if you see an Egyptian.

  • Mobayode Akinsolu says:

    I love this perspective!

    It goes to show that the answers one may be seeking from God can come from the least expected sources. One simply needs to trust Him wholeheartedly. And of course, He’s always on time!

    It’s also interesting to find that David and his men attended to the man’s need first (reviving him) before requesting any service from him. Expectedly, he obliged David with the information he needed. One may have to attend to (revive) “strangers” who have equally lost it all to find one’s path to the restoration and/or recovery of what one may have lost.

    Empathy; henceforth, I’d definitely be on the lookout for “Egyptians”.

    Thank you so much for sharing.

    God bless.

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